Anna Legat talks about featuring Children in Fiction for Adults and her latest Suspense Thriller, Broken…
Please welcome ANNA LEGAT who has popped in during the blog tour for her latest novel, BROKEN, published 15th April, to tell us all about her book, and about featuring children in fiction for adults.
Many thanks, Jane, for hosting me on your blog to chat about featuring children in fiction for adults.
When writing my suspense thriller, Broken, I had to put myself in the shoes of an eight-year-old boy. The story required me to write a couple of chapters from his point of view, reflecting not just the events in his life but also his attitudes and feelings. Writing those chapters wasn’t easy. Getting into a child’s mind and conveying their emotions and thoughts with authenticity is a tall order, even more so when one is writing a book for adults.
Writing from a child’s perspective is a totally different proposition to writing for children. The latter involves capturing a child’s imagination with a good story while the former means imagining what goes on in a little person’s mind. In addition, when writing about children for adults, one has to balance two very different perceptions – one of a grown-up and another one, of a child. They can be worlds apart!
The prose and the vocabulary must be adjusted, too. One has to think like a child and express those thoughts like a child. I consider myself lucky that I spent nearly fifteen years working with children of school age as a teacher. I was able to tune into their ways of speaking. I observed their mannerisms, body language, facial expressions, and interactions with one another. That experience was invaluable in capturing my eight-year-old character, Joshua.
I’d like to share with you a short excerpt from Broken in which Joshua takes centre stage. After overhearing that his mum wasn’t coming back for him, he decides to run away from his grandparents’ house.
“Joshua walked away on tiptoe so that they wouldn’t hear and try to stop him. He went straight to his room to pack his rucksack. He knew to pack his toothbrush and a change of underwear as well as a pair of warm socks even though it was almost summer. He knew about survival. He had learned about it at Beavers. He took his teddy, Ted. He wasn’t going to leave him behind all by himself. Joshua knew how that felt. It wasn’t a feeling he would wish to inflict on Ted.
He felt sorry for Flip and Flop. He had to let them stay where they were. He’d briefly considered scooping them into a plastic bag, but he wouldn’t be able to keep them there forever. Releasing them into the wild had crossed his mind. The ditch outside the house was the only freshwater reservoir he was aware of, but somehow it didn’t seem big enough for two sharks with their huge growth potential. And what if the ditch dried up? It did that sometimes when it didn’t rain. No, Joshua had to leave Flip and Flop behind. He said his goodbyes to them. They seemed to listen. Flip (or Flop. In truth, nobody could tell the difference between them) swam to the glass wall and waved his flipper. Joshua waved back.
‘I’ll be back for you, alright?’
When he made a promise, he kept it. Unlike Mum and Peter. They had said they would be back after one month, and that one day they would take him to the Great Barrier Reef to meet real sharks living out there in the wild. They had lied. Joshua was done with the lot of them.”
Anna, thanks so much for being such a fab guest and for telling us about Broken. I hope visitors leave some comments/questions for you to answer here. Good luck with Broken and the rest of your blog tour.
Find out more about Anna and her book(s) by clicking these links:
Broken by Anna Legat
Broken was published by SpellBound Books on 15th April.
What if you lost the memory of who you are?
What if you had to pick up the loose ends of life that wasn’t yours?
What if you had to fight somebody else’s battles?
What would YOU do?
Camilla’s life will never be the same after her beloved son Christopher is sent to prison.
Father Joseph’s faith is sorely tested when a deranged psychopath uses the sanctity of the confessional to gloat about his most heinous crimes.
Both Camilla and Joseph are paralysed by doubt and inaction.
But then their lives collide…
BROKEN explores where it takes a stranger to break through one’s bindings and inhibitions in order to do the right thing.
It is a story of a mother’s love for her son and a priest’s blind adherence to the seal of confession.
It is a story about Fate’s intervention.
Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. Murder isn’t the only thing on her mind. She dabbles in a wide variety of genres, ranging from dark humorous comedy, through magic realism to dystopian. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives, and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.
To find out more: www.annalegat.com
Follow Anna on Twitter: @LegatWriter
Join Anna on Facebook: @AnnaLegatAuthor
JOIN HER BLOG TOUR ON THESE DATES FOR MORE INFORMATION AND HER INTERVIEW